[GRASS5] New info on openDWG

Michael Tiemann tiemann at redhat.com
Wed Sep 1 07:10:41 EDT 2004

Somebody who knows the Open Design Alliance people may want to talk with
them about cygwin-style licensing (which is compatible with GRASS, open
source, and free software).  Cygwin is offered under the GPL (with all
those rights and responsibilities), and is also sold under a commercial
license, for people who want to write /proprietary/ software.  Thus,
people who want to sell open source or free software for a profit don't
have to pay, but people who want to sell proprietary software need to
pay for the privilege to keep their software proprietary.

Another famous company that uses this model is MySQL AB.  There are
dozens of others (though I don't have those names at my fingertips
because MySQL is such a good example).

Note: when MySQL changed their licensing terms to impinge upon Red Hat's
ability to distribute with our free distribution, we stayed back at an
earlier version.  MySQL has since fixed this problem, and I believe
we'll be moving forward again.  Many other companies have attempted to
fine-tune their licenses to "take a piece" of open source revenues, and
the history seems to indicate that that's doomed to fail.  However,
there's great benefit to being part of a major open source package, and
these companies are learning how to play within the rules, not try to
change them.


On Wed, 2004-09-01 at 01:03, Michael Barton wrote:
> A couple of thoughts.
> Actually the Open Design Alliance licensing strategy is not all that
> confusing. Basically, if you want to sell a piece of software that uses the
> libraries or other utilities that they have written, you can do so. You just
> need to pay them a licensing fee for making a profit from their software. If
> you choose to use their software and not pay them a license fee, you cannot
> sell your software either.
> I don't think their license is problematic in and of itself, and thought
> that this kind of license might be compatible with the way GRASS is
> distributed, and worth asking about. But general consensus seems to be that
> it is not compatible with the GRASS license and distribution. I think (and
> told Alan) that they should update the legalese of the membership
> application to better match their licensing goals as stated on their
> website. However, this would not change the issues raised by many people who
> responded to my question.
> While it is unfortunate that GRASS cannot make use of openDWG more
> extensively than it now does, I am glad that the people who create and
> manage the GRASS project are conscientious enough about proper licensing to
> consider this as thoroughly as they have. This is important to the people
> who use GRASS. Given the many comments, it seems that the safest courses are
> those Hamish mentioned, to work out something within GRASS or in OGR.
> However, if there is any kind of consensus about communicating with the
> alliance about ways to work with the GRASS project, I am happy to help in
> any way I can since they are HQ'ed here in my neighborhood.
> Michael 
> On 8/30/04 3:19 AM, "Jan-Oliver Wagner" <jan at intevation.de> wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 30, 2004 at 11:50:40AM +0200, Radim Blazek wrote:
> >> On Friday 27 August 2004 10:36, Jan-Oliver Wagner wrote:
> >>> talking about this 'only for non-commercial use' stuff,
> >> 
> >> OpenDWG lib IS NOT restricted for non-commercial use.
> >> It is not possible to sell applications (SW) using OpenDWG lib,
> >> which was acquired for free. It IS possible to use
> >> such application for any work without other restrictions.
> > 
> > where do I read about the definition of 'non-commercial'?
> > 
> > If you find one, is it the one the license writers meant?
> > And is it the one applicable for the regional law where
> > someone may want to sue you?
> > 
> > All I am saying is that there are no answers on this and
> > that you take a high risk by interpreting your acitivities
> > as non-commercial yourself.
> > 
> > Jan
> > 
> > -- 
> > Jan-Oliver Wagner               http://intevation.de/~jan/
> > 
> > Intevation GmbH                      http://intevation.de/
> > FreeGIS                                http://freegis.org/
> > 
> ____________________
> C. Michael Barton, Professor
> School of Human Diversity and Social Change
> PO Box 872402
> Arizona State University
> Tempe, AZ  85287-2402
> Phone: 480-965-6262
> Fax: 480-965-7671
> www: <www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton>
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